Occidental Wines, 2015 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental

"The 2015 Pinot Noir (Freestone Occidental) is superb. Rich, dense and inviting, this Occidental's appellation wine captures the essence of the vintage in its radiant, enveloping personality. Dark red cherry, plum, lavender, licorice and spice notes abound in this exuberant, alluring Pinot. The 2015 shuts down very quickly with air, so I would not open it in advance. Ideally, though, readers should be prepared to hang onto these wines for at least a few years. The Occidental appellation wine now carries the Freestone Occidental designation. It is the same wine I previously reviewed as the estate's Sonoma Coast Pinot. Most importantly, though, it is fabulous."

Occidental Wines, 2015 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental

Occidental Wines, 2015 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental

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2015 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental
Occidental Wines

Previously 'Sonoma Coast', this wine now carries the name Freestone-Occidental to more accurately reflect its place of origin.

VINEYARD The Occidental vineyards define the western edge of where pinot noir can be grown successfully on the Sonoma Coast. Planted atop a southern-exposed ridge at elevations of 400-750 feet, these sites look west over pastoral lowlands below to the Pacific Ocean, just five miles away. The new Bodega Ridge site comprises approximately thirty discrete vineyard blocks based primarily on the water-holding capacity of the highly varied, sandstone and gravelly soil. As more of the vineyard comes into full production, the fruit for this appellation wine will almost entirely be sourced from this coastal ridge.

WINEMAKING All fruit is harvested at night and arrives cool at the winery the next morning where it is carefully sorted twice. Each vineyard block is fermented separately in two to four ton increments in order to capture as much individual site character as possible. Native yeast fermentation begin in 7-10 days and proceed to dryness is less than three weeks. Punchdowns are used only as needed to distribute the heat of fermentation, ensuring a gentle extraction.

AGING After fermentation is complete, the tanks are drained and only the free-run wine is transferred by gravity to François Freres barrels (25% new) to age in a naturally cold underground cellar. Occidental does not own a press. Native malolactic fermentations usually begin by the end of December and are complete by late spring of the following year. The wine goes into bottle after 14 months in barrel un-fined and unfiltered with a minimum level of SO2.

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